Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Jason, Leo, and Piper are all demigods going on a quest to save the goddess Hera from the Earth Mother, but there is a problem. Jason lost his memory and Piper is supposed to kill Jason, her boyfriend. What is going to happen? I loved this book. Percy Jackson fans ages 10 and up will too. Erin A., Grade 6

The Westing Game by Ellen Roskin

Sixteen lucky strangers were invited to the Sunset Tower with a magnificent view of Lake Michigan. All was well until they gathered for Samuel Westing's reading of the will. He left a few clues for the strangers (or heirs, according to the will) to put together and reveal the murder. Who wouldn't get excited to win a 200 million-dollar prize? I would recommend this book for ages 8 and older. Jung J., Grade 6

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot

Samantha Madison's whole life changes when she saves the President from an assassination attempt. Everyone now knows her name and thinks she is brave, when in reality, Samantha thinks she isn't. This is a very bubbly, cheerful book. The author also wrote the famous The Princess Diaries, and readers will gobble this book up if they like The Princess Diaries. Haelee K., Grade 6

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The theme of this book is to always use your imagination. This is showed by Willy Wonka, Charlie, the factory, and the city in which the story takes place. The author takes every detail into account. I recommend this book for grades 2-8. Stella A., Grade 6

Watership Down by Richard Adams

A rabbit warren was safe and sound out in the peadeful fields of rural England. All was going well until a small rabbit names Fiber got agitated. Fiber had a power to predict bad events and he felt it coming to their warren. He tried his best to warn everyone, but failed. Finally giving up, Fiber decided to leave the warren himself. Hazel, his older brother, went with Fiber just to protect him, and soon forms a small group of rabbits on a remarkable journey. Jean L., Grade 8

House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Perfect houses in perfect neighborhoods. Is it always that way in books? Not in this one. House on Mango Street is about a teenage girl with a strong desire for a big house of her own. She describes her journey and her "friends" that come and go. Living in such a small apartment in a poor community is such a shame for her, and she feels it is impossible for her dream of a house to come true. However, if her wish comes true, she promises to come back to Mango Street and help those who were like her. This book is recommended for ages 11 and up. Jean L., Grade 8

Herbert's Wormhole by Peter Nelson

Herbert's Wormhole is a sci-fi comedy with adventure. The beginning starts with a kid named Alex who is into slaying aliens in video games. His parents secretly set up a play date with his neighbor, Herbert. Herbert is an extreme inventor who made silver high-tech suits. These suits lead them into a wormhole into the future. I would recommend this book for ages 6 - up. It is a light read with lots of adventure. J.C. Zimmerman, Grade 6

Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls by Lynne Janell

In the first book of the series, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Emmy Addison and her friends turn the evil Mrs. Barmy into a rat! Everyone thinks that Mrs. Barmy is done trying to get the Addison fortune, but they are wrong. Mrs. Barmey has befriended all the rodents of Rodent City, and is sponsoring a beauty pageant. What is her plan? Will she be stopped? This book is a little simple, but is still good. This book is good for children. Sarah C., Grade 6

Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard

The adventure begins when 13-year-old Trav meets Kenny and his cousin Isabella, who tell him that they will find the money his father stole. Confused (Trav never heard of his father being a burglar!) he sees Kenny and they decide to team up to find the money. They soon realize, though, that there is someone else after the money, someone who won't give up without a fight! Who will find it first? This book is an amazing mix of mystery and intrigue! is is great for people of all ages! Sarah C., Grade 6

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

A boy called Spaz lives in a future time, where people live in latches. It is forbidden to leave your latch, but Spaz's sister has blood sickness that could lead to her passing, and lives three latches away. Determined to see her, Spaz and an old man named Ryder team up and try to get to his sister's latch. Will Spaz live to see his sister? Even if he makes it, will she survive? This book is very exciting and will be good for people of all ages. Sarah C., Grade 6

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

A woman's wealthy aunt and her fiance's crush are both poisoned and the innocent woman is accused of the crime. The best part of the book is the lies told by the household, which confuse the reader even further. Fans of the mystery writer should definitely check out this novel. Miranda C., Grade 8

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

There is no more oxygen on the planet after the switch. Breathe has found a way to make manufactured oxygen. Alina, Bea, and Quinn take a journey across the dead planet. Alina is escaping from the ministry. Bea was looking forward to a trip with Quinn. Quinn is worried about Alina. Breathe is filled with science fiction, and the object of staying alive. I recommend this for 4th grade and up because there is some violence. Talulla C., Grade 6

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

This book is about kids who are unwanted because of their creativity. These kids are eliminated and are supposedly dead but they are actually now. The main character Alex Stowe was an unwanted and is sent to his grave but a magician named Mr. Today saved him and brought him to a hidden world that exists to save condemned children. The author is trying to tell us creativity is necessary and can't be dead. It's WILD! Reading this book makes me feel magical because of all the imagination. It goes on forever with no limit. Any child or adult looking for a good book should read this. Andrew C., Grade 6

Revenge of the Wannabes by Lisa Harrison

Maggie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristen, and Claire used to be friends in their own clique. That was until Alicia got tired of always being after Maggie. No matter what, Maggie always got 1st and Alicia got 2nd.So, Alicia switched her and Maggie's voting boxes to determine who got to be on the cover of a magazine. She decides to make her own clique. Will the 2 of them ever be friends again? Jenna O., Grade 6

Sylvia and Aki by Winifred Conkling

Sylvia and Aki are two totally different girls. Sylvia wanted to enroll in school but is sent to the "Mexican" school instead of Westminster school which was the school near her. Aki was sent to Poston, Arizona to a Japanese internment camp. She doesn't understand what she's done wrong to be sent there. This is a great story about friendship. Jenna O., Grade 6

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines is about a boy named Colin Singleton is a child prodigy with a strange obsession for girls named Katherine. Colin has just been dumped by Katherine the 19 and so Colin and his best friend Hassan go on a road trip in search of Colin's eureka moment. Yael N., Grade 6

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

This book is about three kids that were all brought together because of one solar eclipse. Ally's family owns the Moon Shadow compound. Bree's family are all Astronomy geeks except for her. Jack on the other hand is flunking science so he is forced to go see a solar eclipse at the Moon Shadow little do any of them know what is in store.Yael N., Grade 6

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

The theme of this book is to stay true to yourself and what you believe in. This book is very well written and the whole idea of the book is heart-wrenching. This book is recommended for 5th through 10th graders. Yael N., Grade 6

Friday, June 19, 2015

Matched by Ally Condie

In The Society, your choices are made for you. But when Cassi's match (the perfect partner), Xander, her very best friend, appears on the Matching screen, she is excited. Cassia accepts the information card for Xander, which she reviews at home. But as she stares at Xander's face, another face flashes before going dark. It is Ky, a mysterious boy at school. Now Cassia is faced with something she has never made before -- a choice. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
By Paloma B, grade 6

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

In the poor town of La Paz, a young man named Kino lived with his wife and his infant son Coyotito.  One day, while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, he found the pearl of the world.  Assuming that the pearl would bring great joy to the town, Kimo showed everyone the beauty and largeness of the pearl.  News spread like wildfire.  But, one thing Kino did not notice were the secret enemies waiting to attack and steal the pearl.  Kino's vicious greed for money leads him astray from his bright future.
Jean L., grade 8

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel is a Tamil boy from Pondicherry and son of a zoo keeper.  At the age of 16, Pi, his family, and their animals to North America on a Japanese cargo ship.  Their ship sink and Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.  Not being prepared for the shipwreck, Pi and his animals have no food but the salty Pacific Ocean water surrounding them on all sides.  Will Pi survive with the wild animals?
Jean L., grade 8

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Narrated from the second son's point of view, Kenny Watson and his family lived in Flint, Michigan.  Due to his older brother Bryon's constant horrible behavior, the family decided to visit Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama, who is notoriously strict.  To everyone's surprise, Byron started behaving the minute they entered her house.  Everything wend well until their youngest daughter Joetta went to church that was soon to be bombed due to the intense prejudice in the south.
Jean L., grade 8

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

16-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for participation in a drugstore robbery as "lookout" on the 22nd of December, just before Christmas.  In the robbery, the innocent drugstore owner was shot and killed by James King, the other man on trial with Steve.  Steve and his defense attorney are doubtful that they will win.  For Steve  it is a matter of life behind bars or freedom with his family.  Who will win this case.  This book is strongly recommended for ages 12 and older.
Jean L., grade 8

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In our society, firemen put out fires and we are encouraged to read books.  However, in the book's society, firemen start fires, burning the forbidden books.  One fireman named Montag gets his mind turned around by a teenage girl explaining how little he knew of the world and how the illegal books he burned could help everyone, even him.  His curiosity grows far too strong to control and steal the books one by one.  This is recommended for ages 10 and older.
by Jean L., grade 8

The Boy in the Striped Pajama by John Boyne

9-year-old Bruno came back home to find out that his father got a promotion to move far away to a boring house in a boring place with nothing to do.  He finds no friends but simply a large fence running across the side of his house.  Bruno is strictly ordered not to go exploring there since he liked exploring.  Unable to resist another day of boredom, Bruno decided to secretly go exploring to find a boy his age, in striped pajamas, living in a whole different world.
Jean L., grade 8

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen

The main idea of this book is about a boy named Dylan Barston who spends his summer in Papua New Guinea with his Uncle Todd to shape himself up after all his bad habits. I liked the book because there was much action and adventure. if you like historical fiction or a small read about WWII. This would be a good book for you. For ages 8-13.
Ian W., grade 7

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

The theme of this book is about the meaning of home. Celeste is a mouse that is really creative. Celeste lost her home, including her homemade basket, when the cat blocked the home. Celeste found a boot to sleep in that night but she still has to find a home. The positive part of this book is that even though she lost her home, she made a lot of friends like a boy named Joseph, a wood thrush named Cornelius, and a bird named Lafayette. I think everybody should read this book because if you imagine losing your home you will know how Celeste felt.
Kevin E., grade 6

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

This book is about an American millionaire who boards the Blue Train and gets murdered. The best aspect of the book is that the unsuspected are the actual killers. Anyone interested in the mystery genre should read this novel.
Miranda C., grade 8

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

A 14-year-old girl Billie Jo and her family faced the hard life on the farm of Oklahoma in 1934-1935 during the Dust Bowl.  Severe dust storm buried all the farm, family and their hope.  One day, Ma got a terrible accident from the stove by kerosene that Dad placed next to it.  It took Ma and Baby's lives.  Also, Joe burnt her arm.  How would Jo overcome the tragedy and find hope again?  I recommend this historic fiction to anyone who wants to find hope in the despair like the Dust Bowl.
Jung J.L., grade 6

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

There was a boy, named Milo who always got bored of everything.  One day he received a package at his house to him. It contained a miniature tollbooth and a map with a note, "For Milo who have plenty of time."  When he assembled the tollbooth he magically was in a new world. He rode his toy car and began his journey in the strange world.  This genius fantasy novel filled with humor and good lessons! I recommend this book to age 11 and older.
Jung J.L., grade 6

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Young Creel is the daughter of a horrible farmer / poor farmer.  And when she befriends a giant dragon, she ends up working for her enemy!  In the midst of that, she has a war to stop.  When she meets the prince and there are sparks between them, she knows everything will be all right, right?
Amber G.-P., grade 7

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

This incoming 7th grader is ready to take on an average Marley Sandelski year.  You know, the geeky 2 friends kind.  Well, with a new student, new frenemies, and his first award ever, can he really expect what he had planned?  I recommend this for 7th graders.
Amber G-P., grade 7

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

A couple of the themes in Fablehaven are courage and responsibility.  The two main characters, Kendra and Seth, meet greedy trolls, mischievious satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies.  When some evil creatures enter Kendra and Seth's house, their family gets captured. Kendra and Seth must face the greatest challenge to save their family and perhaps even the world. One of the positive elements of the book was that it was suspenseful throughout the whole book.  I would recommend this book to ages 8- to 10.
Audrey L., grade 6

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment by James Patterson

The theme of this book is courage.  Max had a lot of courage when she fought the Erasers.  Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge and the Gasman saved Angel from the School, which is a dangerous science lab.  Even though they saved Angel from the School, the Erasers are still after them.  One of their parents are in Washington D.C., so they are going for help.  Will they be safe?  I recommend teenagers should read this book because it is so interesting.  There are many more series!
Kevin E., grade 6

Midnight by Erin Hunter

Midnight is the first book of the second series of Warriors.  I recommend you read the first series before this but you don't have to because this is a different story.  In this book Brambleclaw gets a message from Star Clan that he has to defeat the evil with three of the cats.  He has to find his way to meet these cats and try to work together.
Pieter W., grade 6

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Everybody knows the story of Cinderella, right? Well, this book is exactly the same ... with a twist.  Cinder is a cyborg made to look human.  She is owned by a human, of whom she despises.  When the plague strikes her sister, Cinder is blamed.  She is sent to a lab to get tested, when something is found.  To me, this book has no faults.  I recommend this book to ages 10 - to 13.
Olivia Y., grade 6

Steve Jobs: the Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

Steve Jobs is a great man with lots of ideas and never stopped until they were at perfection.  I liked this book when Steve was fired and still didn't let go of his ideas.  This book sets a good example for teens who follow their dreams and go on like Steve Jobs did.  I recommend that 6th - 8th graders read this book.  It would appeal to people who like biographies and tech.
Michael J., grade 7

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior goes to Erudite's headquarters, even though it is dangerous.  This shows that even though Erudite's headquarters are dangerous, Beatrice still does what needs to be done.  This book is very creative with all these different groups of people who have different personalities.  I recommend this book to 6th grade and up, because it's too romantic for elementary kids.  It would appeal to readers who like adventures.
Michael J., grade 7

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

One of the themes for this book is power.  Many of the evil things these villains are doing is because of power and greed.  I really liked this book because of the awesome story plot!  The characters are super interesting to read about.  The relationships between the characters are rich and complex, and it's a really great adventure read! I would recommend this book to 5th graders and up.
Aanji S., grade 7

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

This is an extraordinary book about a young girl named Ridley, who returns home from volunteering in Haiti, only to find that the entire government has changed.  She has no money, no food, a dead phone, and absolutely no means of transportation.  Ridley only has her perseverance and Route 9 to lead her home.  But she finds there may not be what she had hoped.  A positive theme is the idea that someone with so little can have so much hope.  A negative theme is some adult themes.  Recommended for fans of adventure books and appeals to ages 12 and up.
Juliana A., grade 8

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe is an action-packed novel about the idea that our world will run out of oxygen and the only way to survive this apocalypse is to live under the Dome, a place where oxygen is available.  Three teens venture outside the Dome and the entire book is based on their experiences with limited oxygen.  A positive element is that these teens use teamwork and perseverance in order to survive.  A negative element is the mature content.  I recommend fans of dystopic novels like The Giver to read this.  This appeals to ages 11 and up.
Juliana A., grade 8

The Land of Stories: the Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer

After sinking their grandmother's house, Alex and Conner Bailey find themselves in the Land of Stories.  Alex and Conner team up with Froggy, Red, Jack, Goldi, and Claudius to find their mom and defeat the Enchantress.  I recommend this book to ages 10 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

During the last games, Katniss and Peeta used their love for each other as a television stunt.  In an attempt to save her beloved, she gives him poison berries to share with her, but the Capitol doesn't approve and will kill everyone Katniss loves.  What will happen next! This was my favorite book in the series.  If you like Divergent, you'll like Catching Fire.
Erin Rose A., grade 6

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Matt Alacran is a clone living in Opium, which used to be known as Mexico.  He is the clone of El Patron, the leader of Opium, which thrives of drugs.  Matt is treated lower than a beast, because he is a clone, except for the few that actually love him.  Soon, Matt discovers the secrets that can bring down the Opium empire.  This is a great book that received several awards and I would recommend this to sci-fi lovers.
Haelee K., grade 6

The Candy Makers by Wendy Mass

The theme of this book is to stay true to yourself and your friends.  This is showed when Logan helps his fellow contestants.  The story line is phenomenal and it is hard to put down.  This would be good for grades 4 and up.
Stella A., grade 6

The Billionaire's Curse by Richard Newsome

Geraldine sends Gerald a mysterious letter.  The mysterious part:  Geraldine is Gerald's dead great-aunt.  And she gave him almost all her fortune.  With the help from Sam and Ruby Valentine, he finds the secret of his family crest, learns about a casket, and -- did I mention a rose growing out of a man's buttocks?  Recommend this book to ages 10 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

Tommy and the gang make a new case-file.  This time to stop the school board from sending Dwight to CREF.  Harvey makes and origami Darth Vader and together they try to bring them to the Dark Side.  More like tries to get the truth our of Dwight, but whatever.  Recommend this book to ages 8 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Mia Winchell is far from normal.  She has a case called Synesthia, where sounds, letters, and numbers have color for her.  She has been keeping this secret for a long time.  It finally slips out and the whole school knows.  Mia goes to groups of people with the same case.  I would recommend A Mango-Shaped Space to third-graders and up.
Talullah C., grade 6

Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman

This book is filled with fascinating poems to be read aloud by two voices.  It is about the interesting world of insects like grasshoppers, water striders, mayflies, and more.  There are a lot of wits and fun facts of insects' lives.  Each poem of this book is resonating with fun rhythm, alliteration, and repetition of words.  Also, it mimics the sounds of insects and creates a real joyful noise.  I recommend this book to age 8 and older.
Jung Joy L., grade 6

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

It is a very well-written book that has big waves of excitement and sorrow.  This book is about Percy Jackson trying to save humanity and Earth from being destroyed by the goddess Gaea.  This novel is recommended for kids 10+ because of some complicated vocabulary.  If you like Greek mythology and action, this book is for you.
Uday S., grade 8